Is Moss a Producer or a Decomposer?
Moss is both a producer and a decomposer. Moss and lichens are considered one of the terrestrial primary producers or plants found on land. At the same time, moss also helps to break down organic matter such as fallen trees.
Moss is considered both a producer and a decomposer because it produces its own food through photosynthesis and helps to break down organic matter into nutrients. For example, the most dominant plant found in peatlands is moss. Peatlands, a type of wetland, hosts few animals because not many animals feed on moss with the exception of some birds. However, the moss does benefit small animals in other ways by providing shelter.
Moss is also found in deserts such as the Arches National Park in Utah, a rare plant in a dry climate. Although it is a valuable food source for animals. It also helps to prevent erosion and purify water.
On the other hand, moss also grows in forests where it is only one of many plants and takes on a slightly different role than the one it has in the peatlands. In the forest, moss carpets the floor and fallen organic matter such as rotting logs. The moss helps to decompose the logs and recycle the nutrients.